Fiona's flower filled journal

Fiona writes about recent exciting events, beautiful weddings and floral classes and workshops

Yorkshire workshop with Sarah Winward

I am so excited to announce a collaboration with Sarah Winward in a few weeks time.  An afternoon of flower filled fun here in Yorkshire, UK on 31st May 2017 12-4pm at Holme Flowers near Thirsk, North Yorkshire.

Sarah Winward by  Kate Osborne  

Sarah Winward by Kate Osborne 

A relaxed, half-day workshop on a flower farm where you will forage for dramatic branches, work with flowers grown on the farm and design your own giant urn.  There will be lots of lovely Yorkshire tea and home made cakes and all on a working farm so lots of cows, sheep and all that entails!!!

Sarah is one of my all time favourite designers and I feel so privileged to be working with her, her work is hugely influential around the world. If you've ever pinned a drool-worthy image of a floral installation or stunning bouquet, chances are that Sarah has created it!

Sarah WInward urn by  Erich McVey

Sarah WInward urn by Erich McVey

Sarah Winward by  Erich McVey

Sarah Winward by Erich McVey

Sarah Winward urn by  Kate Osborne  

Sarah Winward urn by Kate Osborne 

Sarah and Fiona foraging in the Cotswolds

Sarah and Fiona foraging in the Cotswolds

I first met Sarah down in the Cotswolds a couple of years ago, after watching her design incredible bouquets and striking urns, we bonded over a morning foraging the hedgerows for wild clematis and huge urn making.

We have kept in touch since and I have been longing to show her the beauty of the rugged, wild and earthy Yorkshire. I've often driven down our tiny lanes bursting with May blossom, just big enough for my van, across the windswept moors purple with heather, or by the local huge craggy rocks with determined little ferns bursting through and thought 'Sarah would love this' and made mental notes where I would take her (I'm afraid I've forgotten half of them!). And rather fabulously she is now actually coming up and I just know she will love it all.

From the tree lined valleys here in my little piece of heaven in West Yorkshire, through the local 'wuthering' Bronte moors and creative towns of Hebden Bridge and Saltaire, up to the more gentle and picture postcard prettiness of North Yorkshire with it's array of market towns and farming folk, Yorkshire has so much beauty to offer and such a varied landscape, each beautiful in it's own very different way. I am so excited to see Sarah's reaction to it all!

 

Fiona Pickles urn by  Erich McVey

Fiona Pickles urn by Erich McVey

Fiona Pickles urn by  Erich McVey

Fiona Pickles urn by Erich McVey

Fiona Pickles urn and Sarah Winward bouquet by  Erich McVey

Fiona Pickles urn and Sarah Winward bouquet by Erich McVey

So, Sarah and I have put together a very relaxed yet inspirational half day of flower-filled creativity for anyone who just wants to share their love of flowers and enjoy a bit of "impulse designing" with us, this is a fabulous opportunity to get to work with one of the world's leading floral designers while she is over in the UK.

The orchard at Holme Flowers

The orchard at Holme Flowers

WHERE AND WHEN

Wednesday May 31st 2017 at Holme Flowers, near Thirsk, North Yorkshire 12-4pm

Holme Farm is a beautiful working farm run by three sisters, Wendy, Sue and Jayne and is located in a delightful and secluded hamlet in rural North Yorkshire. 

We will work in the picture perfect orchard underneath one of the apple trees, right at the heart of the farm and just a short walk from one of the flower fields. There will be chickens at our feet and cows chewing the cud, gazing on quizzically, while the gang of orphaned spring lambs gambol about playfully and get up to all sorts of mischief  nearby

 

AGENDA

12 noon Arrive for a light lunch served under an apple tree in the orchard*.

A chance to meet and chat to everyone in the most idyllic of settings. Enjoy a relaxed lunch of locally reared meats, local cheeses, fruits, breads, biscuits, English wines and soft drinks as well as home made biscuits and cakes. And of course lots of Yorkshire tea.

After lunch Sarah and I will demonstrate our urns, then we'll all head off to one of the flower fields before meandering down some of their many lanes or across open fields to forage for interesting foliage.

You will then choose your vessel and create your own floral masterpiece in the beautiful orchard. 

4pm goodbyes where you can take your urn home, along with a little gift from Sarah and me

Photos throughout the afternoon by fine art photographer Holly of Belle and Beau www.belleandbeaublog.com Holly has been internationally recognised as one of the best Fine Art Wedding photographers in the UK with accolades from The Telegraph and Photo Professional Magazine. She is also the author of ‘The Fine Art of Wedding Photography‘. 

Tumble down walls

Tumble down walls

INVESTMENT £499

To book a place please e-mail Fiona at  fiona@firenzafloraldesign.co.uk and she will reply with payment details. Places are strictly limited and allocated on a first come first served basis.

Demand for this half day workshop is expected to be very high and early booking is HIGHLY recommended.

The £499 is for one place only and is non- transferrable and non-refundable

HOW TO GET THERE

The hamlet of Holme is about a 10 minute drive from junction 50 of the A1/M and a 15 minute taxi ride from Thirsk station-  full directions will be sent out to all attendees beforehand.

 

*We have an indoors wet weather back up plan in case the weather isn't kind.

Fiona Pickles in the orchard at Holme Flowers

Fiona Pickles in the orchard at Holme Flowers

Saltmarshe Hall

I am so honoured to have been asked to provide the florals for this shoot that came about to launch the new range of bespoke and vintage-inspired dresses from Glory Days Bridal, which happens today!

AND (small fanfare ...) Hayley is giving away a wedding dress to one very lucky winner, completely free of charge - see the bottom of this post for details - heck that's one great offer!

Hayley got the team together to showcase her gorgeous new range and everything just came together like magic.  Saltmarshe Hall was an incredible venue with amazing grounds and outbuildings. It was a heavenly day!

About the flowers:

I made three bouquets in total, these two I made in advance from my gardens and the other was foraged entirely from the grounds (with a couple of added chrysanthemum heads for added 'umph') and made on the spot , it was all wild, unruly, big and gangly!

The second bouquet was more restrained and in cooler tones of lemon, pale pink and cream flowers from my garden, including lemon sunflowers, garden roses, lemon dahlias that fade to pink, pink scabious, ferns, jasmine and sweet pea trails. As well as a single faded lacecap hydrangea head and, unbelievably for November, a small white foxglove.

The third, again all picked from the garden with the exception of the trailing pepper berries, was in deeper tones of rusts, salmons and pinks. Again, a little more restrained thank the foraged bouquet, with large dahlia and chrysanthemum heads taking centre stage, but with some twirling flourishes of sweet pea vines and jasmine trails.

I also designed a flower crown from the foraged goodies, with a bit of  chrysanthemum added for good measure.

If I had to choose, my favourite is the foraged bouquet, its wild, large, totally fits into the surroundings and until I started making it I had no idea how it would look, which i LOVE!! It is a bit like choosing your favourite child though (or dog). Do you have a favourite? Id love to hear which and why 😀

Rolling in Roses73.jpg

It was wonderful to be part of such an amazing team of people (including the hairdresser who worked with a broken arm, without realising it was broken!!) and I suspect there may be more (shoots! Not broken arms ).....??? 

Images - Shutter Go Click Photography

Dresses - Glory Days Bridal

Flowers - Firenza Floral Design

Make up - Victoria Farr Make Up artist

Hair - Hula Hair

Venue - Saltmarshe Hall

And for that chance to win the wedding dress see the feature on Rock My Wedding today - you have until midnight on 28th January 2017. Good luck!!!

When everything comes together ....

Yesterday I was involved in the most glorious of shoots and as I type there are only a few preview images from the amazing Shutter Go Click Photography but they are so beautiful I couldn't wait to share them!

The shoot, at Saltmarshe Hall, was arranged by Hayley from Glory Days Vintage Bridal for the launch of her amazing new range of hand made dresses, which she only finished the night before and oh my word, were they exquisite!

The lovely people at this beautiful venue (I really hope I get the chance to work there again, it was SOOOO up my street!) allowed me to use foliages and berries from the grounds to make this bouquet and oh boy, was I in my element. SO many beautiful buildings, walls, trees (and even drainpipes!!).

More to follow :) x

Images - Shutter Go Click

Dresses - Glory Days Vintage Bridal

Venue - Saltmarshe Hall

Florals - Firenza Flowers

Make up - Victoria Farr

Hair - Hula Hairdressing

 

One of my all time favourites ...

It's well over a year ago that I was involved in this fabulous collaboration but I've never actually shared it on my website - until now :)

It was a collaboration with, amongst others, my two lovely friends James and Jo Melia of Melia Melia Photography (see below for full details of everyone involved) and the images we achieved are some of my all time favourites.

It was the first styled shoot at The Arches, Dean Clough in Halifax, West Yorkshire UK, from which they launched as a wedding venue. It is fabulously different, it's industrial setting allows for something that little bit different and away from the mainstream wedding 'look', all of which is right up my street!

For this collaboration we wanted to embrace the heritage and grittiness of the building itself, I used flowers to pick up the colour of the brickwork, grey silk ribbons that echoed the stone flag flooring and the steel girders,  we even used items from the fabulous antique shop around the corner, most of which were from the mill itself. 

I created an arch from a piece of rope and a branch, built a fireplace from crates and a charred old plank, we filled a filing system with flowers and used two beautiful salvaged wooden benches for the ceremony. The table plan was foliage circlets hanging from holes I could find in the beautiful stone wall (now sadly no longer there).

The flowers were large and unapologetic, this was a chance to do something that I would naturally do, given a free reign and an open brief, a dream come true in fact!

The food from Eat Me Drink Me was amazing too, we know as we got to taste it at lunchtime!! It is as good as it looks, proper "Yorkshire Fare' !

Florals and styling - Firenza Floral Design

Images and styling - Melia Melia Photography

Venue - The Arches

Planning and styling - Charlotte Eden and Eve

Dresses - Eve and Ellis Bridal Couture

Hair - Kizzy Charisma Bridal Hair

Make up - Jo Bilham Make up artist

Calligraphy - Claire Gould

Catering - Eat Me Drink Me

Rock My wedding also featured us on their fabulous blog last year